Following last Sunday’s 19-14 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions took the proverbial high road and chose not to complain about the controversial ruling that negated a likely game-winning touchdown by Calvin Johnson.
After acknowledging that the Lions had no recourse with the NFL, Jim Schwartz later took to the airwaves and said, "Everybody knows it was a catch."
On Friday, team vice chairman Bill Ford, Jr. spoke his mind on WJR-AM. In an interview with morning host Paul W. Smith, Ford said that the Lions have contacted the NFL regarding the rule and hope the whole controversy will enact some change.
“(The rule) really has to be revised. I’ve already spoken to the league about it,” Ford, Jr. told Smith. “First of all, it’s more cryptic than the Dead Sea Scrolls. The thing is, the game is for the fans. If every fan in America sees that and thinks it’s a touchdown and then they’re told it’s not, then it’s really not playing to the fans at all.”
On one hand, it doesn’t necessarily matter what the fans think. If the call is right, then so be it. But if you’re of the belief that the ruling on Johnson’s catch doesn’t pass the eyeball test (which seems to be the opinion of virtually everyone – fans and media – who saw the play), then Ford’s contention makes more sense.
Revise the rule, incorporate the "second act" exception cited by the NFL V.P. of officiating into the actual wording of the explanation, and make sure an inexplicable play like this doesn’t occur again.